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Historical Syntax and Linguistic Theory$
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Paola Crisma and Giuseppe Longobardi

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560547

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560547.001.0001

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The return of the Subset Principle *

The return of the Subset Principle *

(p.58) 4 The return of the Subset Principle*
Historical Syntax and Linguistic Theory

Theresa Biberauer

Ian Roberts (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter reconsiders the role of the Subset Principle in language acquisition and change, arguing that consideration of true formal optionality enables one to define grammars generating languages that are in inclusion relations. This in turn facilitates an explanation of diachronic changes where absence of sufficiently robust PLD led acquirers to ‘default’ to ‘smaller language’‐generating grammars.

Keywords:   Subset Principle, learnability, true optionality, pied‐piping, OV and VO word order/word‐order variation, Old and Middle English

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